Born in Tokyo in 1973, Yoshihito Kawase completed his PhD in Japanese-style painting at Tokyo National University of the Arts. Working as a nihonga or “Japanese-style painting” artist, Kawase uses mineral pigments create a rich spectrum of color, layering gold, silver, and textural carbon ink to create endlessly intriguing reflections of the overlooked wonders of the natural world. In his most recent work, Kawase emphasizes the relationship between his subject matter and the materials themselves. Driven by the idea of yohaku–characterized not by emptiness, but through an anxious presence, an ever-present atmosphere–Kawase explores the overlooked aspects, the “white darkness,” of life in his work.
Kawase’s paintings have been featured in solo and group shows throughout Japan and can be found in permanent collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Sato Sakura Museum, and Tokugawa Art Museum. He is the recipient of the Yamatane Art Museum Nihonga Award (2016) and the 13th Sato International Culture Foundation Scholarship (2005). Named first runner-up in 2016, Kawase was chosen as the 2019 Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence.